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Keeping the Law Up With Innovation

As direct-to-consumer genetic testing becomes increasingly popular, lawmakers are seeking to tighten protections for consumers who undergo testing, MPR News reports.

In Minnesota, for instance, Rep. Eric Lucero (R-Dayton) has introduced a bill that would ensure that individuals, and not the companies, own their genetic information, would require testing firms to disclose more information to consumers up front, and would limit the use or storage of data to what the customers consented too, it adds. "The law is not keeping up with technology, because innovation far outpaces what government is able to do in terms of controls," Lucero tells MPR News.

Meanwhile, at the federal level, MPR News notes that Congress is also weighing data privacy bills that have prompted testing firms like Ancestry, 23andMe, and Helix to band together to form a lobbying group, Coalition for Genetic Data Protection. "We certainly understand and support consumer protection and consumer privacy we think that's critically important," Kathy Hibbs, chief legal officer at 23andMe, tells MPR News.

The Scan

Hormone-Based Gene Therapy to Sterilize Domestic Cat

A new paper in Nature Communication suggests that gene therapy could be a safer alternative to spaying domestic cats.

Active Lifestyle Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Prevention in People at High Genetic Risk

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that an active lifestyle goes a long way in type 2 diabetes prevention.

Beneficial, Harmful Effects of Introgression Between Wild and Domesticated European Grapes

A paper in PNAS shows that European wild grapevines were an important resource for improving the flavor of cultivated wine grapes.

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.